The Summoned – Sessions

“Sessions is a concept album about a man who wakes up from a coma and is sent straight into a psychiatric hospital where he begins a series of tests against his will. In the process he meets a doctor who remains with him every step of the way. During these sessions, with the guidance of the doctor, he is transported into the outer reaches of his own mind to confront the insecurities and demons that plague him.”

Resembling the premise behind the new album from ferocious US technical metallers The Summoned is the listening experience of Sessions. The nine track exploration is a kaleidoscope of sound and technical craft which barely gives a moment for a breath within its often infernal tempest taking the listener into the darkest, deepest recesses of their psyche. It is a demanding and intensive journey across story and album but ultimately one seriously rewarding one.

Formed in 2007 and drawing on the inspiration of bands such as Death, Between The Buried And Me, Decapitated, The Faceless, Behemoth, The Dillinger Escape Plan and others, the Boston, Massachusetts hailing quartet pretty soon revealed their own individual character of sound. Since then they have relentlessly pushed theirs and in turn metal’s assumed boundaries to find a strain of uniqueness really having its head in the band’s latest encounter.  After the Harvest EP in their first year, the 2011 released debut album If Only Minds Could Paint Pictures garnered a wealth of critical acclaim, its success supported and followed by the band successfully undertaking a 23-day headline tour spanning the U.S. and Canada as well as being part of 2012 Summer Slaughter Tour with Cannibal Corpse, Between The Buried and Me, The Faceless and more. From the winter of 2013, The Summoned began working on their second album, entering the studio with long-time friend Evan Sammons of Last Chance To Reason to begin the recording process. The next three years were concentrated on the creation of Sessions, time and intensive attention showing all its qualities in a release even more enthralling as well as bolder and more accomplished, technically and emotionally, than its impressive predecessor.

Within seconds, opener The Pendulum Swing has the senses twisted and imagination askew, the guitars of Shaun Murphy and Jarred Sullivan spinning a web of disorientating metal aligned to post punk discordance as bass and drums grumble and impose their psychosis. Vocalist Stephen Thompson supported by the equally rawer tones of Murphy, is a venomous scourge, words and emotions a primal yet composed assault as blurry as precise in their invasively relentless suggestiveness.  The determined, unyielding nagging is a constant across sound and album, every aspect and texture a ruthless persistence in its moment within a just as eagerly evolving unpredictable tapestry.

The track is an absorbing, thrilling start; a rabid introduction but eclipsed in ferocity by the following Faradic. As the rhythms of drummer Sam Hang ravage the senses yet still manage to be an anthemic enticement, guitars dance provocatively and psychotically on the imagination. Flavours and styles proceed to flicker with enthusiastic dexterity and boldness across the song, jazzy and progressive turns colluding with extreme and technical metal tenacity as vocals flow with a toxic essence. As in the first and next up Fractal Patterns, there is a real virulence to everything too; an infectiousness veining every fury and creative twist with the third track a debilitating but equally magnetic carousel of sound and invention. Melodies spawn from ravenous hostility, deranged trespasses from atmospheric caresses; every second a cauldron of intrigue and harsh drama.

Through the possibly even more primal and savage The Grave Mistake and the dark climate of Built of Glass there is no lessening of the resolute examination of senses and imagination; both tracks a flight of startling adventure and striking craft with the first a spiral into disturbing calm from cyclonic agitation, and back again, while the second aligns melancholy and sonic savagery within its dramatic almost cinematic theatre.

Both Vertiginous with its whirling melodies and rotating spine of far more carnal strains and the unbridled ferocity of the equally multi-flavoured Primogenial Birth keep ears and imagination gripped and consumed, the latter at times as primal as it is in other moments elegant and jazzily bewitching. Again neither leave a second free for the body to relax or expectations to try and rear their head, Recollection similarly a storm of sonic transgression and off-kilter progressive enterprise which, as all tracks, really is impossible to truly represent in word and suggestion.

Closing up with the initially melodically charming, hope embraced Satori, the album is simply one uncompromisingly compelling proposition. Shadows soon crowd and invade the listener as the final track hits its creatively hungry stride; pretty much epitomising the whole of Sessions with its capricious yet intensely woven and nurtured web.

Certainly Sessions is an imposing listen to match its presence and hard to take all in over a few let alone a single listen but rewards with every quest taken. Equally at times due to Thompson’s fine but exacting raw delivery lyrically the album shares moments lyrically which remain a mystery in the tale but are potently compensated by the clear emotion of the sounds and his presence; in saying that though a thicker use of the clean touches provided by Murphy within both Fractal Patterns and Built of Glass would make for another intriguing dynamic ahead. Nothing though defuses the potency and pleasure of sharing time with the album, or the calm to contemplate after its outstanding tempest.

Sessions is out now @ http://store.thesummoned.com/album/sessions

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scaling reasoning: talking Abiotic and Casuistry with John Matos

 

abiotic2_RingMaster Review

   Gripping eras and attention with its first touch, it is fair to say that Casuistry, the new album from progressive death metallers Abiotic, has grown into one fiercely fascinating and increasingly compelling proposition. The Miami quintet’s debut album Symbiosis three years back marked the band out as ones to seriously watch but it only hinted at the evolution and corruptive majesty now enthralling from within its successor. Casuistry had us hooked at go, only tightening its grip over every listen, so with big thanks to guitarist John Matos we had to delve deeper into the album; the less than settled times leading to its birth and the whole creative adventure involved.

Hello John and many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

It has been a short while since your new album Casuistry was unleashed, a release which has come after an ‘eventful ‘time for the band in personnel changes alone. Has its release come with a flush of relief as well as excitement in some ways?

An album release is always full of excitement and nerves. On this one, we had to overcome some particularly difficult hurdles, but it’s made us stronger than ever before. Stoked to finally be able to show Casuistry to the world!

As a listener it is clear the impact both Brent (Phillips) and Travis (Bartosek) have made on not only the album but your sound too. Where did their contribution to Casuistry begin? Were songs already written before their arrival or were they heavily involved in that area too?

The music for Casuistry was just about done being written and in skeleton form when both Brent and Travis joined. Brent had some great ideas and really brought some power and creativity behind the kit. Travis had complete freedom on both lyrics and phrasing. Really blew us away with how catchy his phrasing was and how comfortable he looked. First time together in the studio and it felt like he’d been with us since the beginning.

How did you meet the pair and what inspired the (right) choice to bring them into the line-up?

We met Brent and at a show in south Florida where his band opened up for us. When that transition period began, he was my first choice in finding someone who’d be up to par with playing these tunes, but also with a lot of potential and drive. Brent was an easy decision for us and finding a good drummer is always hard, so we were very lucky! Travis came highly recommended from a friend in the Bay Area death metal scene in California. He auditioned, along with some others, and we decided his sound, tonality, and phrasing was what the new sound needed.

abiotic cover_RingMaster ReviewI am assuming the album took a fair amount of time to get from writing to release, from the disruptions alone. What is the time period to its creation?

We started working on new songs right before our run with The Faceless in 2013, so it had been a little over two years in the works. The disruptions actually worked out in our favor, because we had more time to make the songs the best they could be. We were able to give each song the time it deserved and I’m really glad it ended up that way.

Where would you say the changes in members have affected the album most, in the positive and the negative where you had to reassess ideas and intentions maybe?

Musically, we’ve always been on the same page as far as what our intentions were. We’d been talking about what we were wanting to do with the next record even during the Symbiosis album cycle. I feel like the member changes brought out even more so what we were trying to accomplish. We were able to explain our goals and find those key parts to the puzzle that wanted to accomplish the same things. The negative aspects were merely in the momentum. Because we were in a transitional period, we took a couple of steps back to make some necessary steps forward.

Our first taste of your sound was with debut album Symbiosis, which blew us away. In hindsight though, as we mentioned in our review it is now for us overshadowed by the maturity and sheer creative strength of Casuistry. Where do you see the differences and the strongest leaps between the two?

Thanks so much for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed Symbiosis. Strongest differences were definitely in the song writing. We really tried to focus on putting what gets fans enjoying Abiotic into catchy songs that aren’t overly technical or sounding forced. We also took the approach of this album being pummelling from beginning to end…No filler tracks or anything half assed. Every song has a focus and a goal on its own and in its place on the record as a whole.

Did you approach the new album, apart from the enforced issues, any differently to its predecessor in writing and in the studio?

We did it very differently than the first one, actually. On this one we were able to record pre-production for all the songs and really get a listeners point of view before going into the studio and finalizing. Our first album was written completely in a warehouse and we just practiced for hours. The new approach gave us a different perspective and allowed us to hone in our sound.

The album was recorded with producer Jamie King, a name which needs no introduction. What inspired the link-up and was there anything specifically you discovered in your sound and ideas through his input which brought something unexpected to the album?

We always had Jamie’s name in the mix when it came to recording. He’s recorded some of our favorite records and has a great relationship with Metal Blade. The opportunity presented itself and I could not be more satisfied with the product. Jamie really killed it! Jamie let us be us in the studio and creatively, kind of dick around. We were extremely prepared going in, so we had time to explore and Jamie created the exact kind of vibe and environment we needed to do that.

Any ideas inspired which you are looking to explore further in the next release?abiotic photo Vince Edwards_RingMaster Review

We definitely want to explore some more progressive elements on the next one. We’re already working on some new stuff and it’s going in a cool direction already!

Two tracks on the album also feature guests in vocalist John Gallagher of Dying Fetus (Cast Into the Depths) and guitarist Paul Waggoner from Between the Buried and Me (Absence of Purity). What sparked their potent contributions to Casuistry?

We toured with Dying Fetus in 2013 and kept in touch. Those dudes are amazing and absolutely legendary. I still jam Fetus every day and having John on was an absolute honor. Jamie actually reached out to Paul for us in regards to the guest solo and I could not be more honored to get to play such an awesome solo live. Paul absolutely rips it on Absence of Purity and we’re very grateful for his contribution as well!

We obviously have our favourite moments on the album, is there any particular song or moment in a track which gives you that extra tingle of satisfaction?

I feel like the ending of Absence of Purity is the embodiment of everything we’ve had to go through as a band. Every obstacle we’ve overcome and all the uphill battles to come. I get that purely from the music and it gets me every time. Even on stage. I hope that other people get that same vibe.

You have blasted the album out live since May; did you expose the whole album to the stage in one go or choose particular tracks?

We’ll choose particular tracks for this one, but we’ll be playing about 5 or so new ones, so nearly half the album. It’s going to be a fun one, for sure!

When writing and creating tracks some bands have the live setting in mind to, how songs will translate to studio and gigs, and others of course worry about that after. How about with you guys?

Though we would not sacrifice creativity for it, we definitely keep the live setting in mind. We’re all fans first and really want to make sure everything translates well in the setting where we have everything to prove. We always want to keep our live show on par with what you hear on record.

What comes next for Abiotic after the tour?

Our goal is to stay as busy as we can during this cycle and see as many faces in as many cities as we can!

Once more thank you for chatting with us, any last thoughts you would like to add?

We can’t thank you all enough for the support and hope to see you at a show soon! Thank you for keeping metal alive!

Read our review of Casuistry @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/abiotic-casuistry/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

False Flag – Nest of Vipers EP

Promo photo - false flag_RingMaster Review

As Nest of Vipers, the new EP from Canadian metallers False Flag ravages air and ears you can almost feel the body’s sinews being stretched to their limited and the psyche being devoured by the fierce enterprise fuelling the incitement. The release is an attention grabber, a confrontation unleashing a mix of sonic invention and fearsome physical confrontation, and ultimately one thoroughly satisfying adventure.

False Flag was formed in 2012 by vocalist/guitarist Russ Gauthier (Lordosis, Meggido, We Found The Body) and drummer Nick Purdy (Meggido) as a side project to their other projects. Bassist Garrett McElroy (AfterEarth) soon joined the band with first EP Orobas being recorded not long after. Once Dan Ishak (Meggido, Stinger) subsequently linked up with the band on bass, McElroy leaving to concentrate on AfterEarth , the band set about recording their eventually well-received debut album Suffer In Silence in 2014. Alongside all this, the band live has equally been earning a rich reputation for their hellacious assault on the senses and stirring stage craft, a potency which seemingly has been translated into their new release, such its live like fury. With a line-up of guitarist Mike Harach and drummer John Byskal now alongside Gauthier and Ishak, False Flag are setting a new benchmark for themselves with their four-track incitement, the Garrett recorded and Sacha Alan Laskow (Every Hour Kills) mastered Nest Of Vipers, a thick poke at broader spotlights.

FRONT_RingMaster Review     False Flag is frequently compared to Meshuggah and in the past that was probably a more relevant comparison but as opener Sacrifice Of Solitude shows alone, any likeness is a mere passing spice in a recipe which entwines varied flavours of extreme and groove lit metal. The first song emerges from a stark landscape blown over by a desolate sonic wind. It is an evocative entrance which is quickly immersed in rabid riffs, vicious rhythms, and already toxic grooving. With the rapacious vocal scowling of Gauthier spewing antagonism with every raw syllable, the track is soon a venomous trespass of the senses but in turn speared by melodic tendrils of searing guitar and a bruising but inescapable swing sculpted by those ever inviting grooves and the throaty bass of Ishak. It is simply a predator and one compelling and thrilling start to the release.

The sonic tapestry of Perfidious squeals and leers over the senses next, its initial acidity swiftly joined by infectiously groaning grooves and vocal antagonism. There is a definite Pantera grizzle to the song, the half clean/half raw tones of Gauthier a bear hug in the tempest of sound and becoming even more impressive when exploring an almost completely clean delivery later on to add further captivating texture. All the time riffs and rhythms constantly gnaw away at ears whilst the guitars spin an intoxicating liquor of melodic imagination to capture that of the listener.

Another venture into an imposing ambience brings Reversion Of Sin into view, this time a cavernous immersion of heavy shadows which subsequently give birth to a bestial stroll of malevolent riffs and piercing beats. Vocals also bring a savage intent with their guttural intimidation whilst the brutal body of the track savages whilst wrapped in classic/heavy metal and progressive seeded endeavour. The mercilessly heavy corruption from the song is delicious but personal tastes failed to find the same appetite for its melodic side and its fusion into the barbarous body of the still enjoyable track. It really is just taste dictating reactions as once again there is no escaping that band and song spew craft and adventure.

Nest Of Vipers has body and emotions back rocking with its title track, a mighty closer with crushing rhythms, insatiable riffs, and grooves which simply flirt with primal instincts. The best track on the EP, it is a maelstrom of physical predation, and sonic bedlam cultured into something superbly designed and as virulently enticing as the great varied vocals frequenting the song. A mixture of Bloodsimple and Lamb of God, Down to The Faceless rear their suggestions across the song but as in all tracks within Nest Of Vipers, what emerges is something not solely original but far more False Flag than anything else.

False Flag is a band knocking on metal’s global door with Nest Of Vipers it is fair to say; if it succeeds in unlocking that door time will tell but if not it is one enjoyable step towards that easy to suspect destiny.

The self-released Nest Of Vipers EP is available from August 4th @ http://falseflagmusic.bandcamp.com/album/nest-of-vipers

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Ringmaster 02/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Acrania – Fearless

Acrania Color Publicity #1_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

You would imagine it hard to be thrown off kilter and truly surprised within the broad landscape of metal nowadays, even in the avant-garde and experimental realms which blossom and scintillate from the unique creative minds of bands like Trepalium, 6:33, Pryapisme, and Hardcore Anal Hydrogen to name a few. One band which has and continues to through new album Fearless is Mexican death metallers Acrania. The release is a psychotic fusion of extreme metal and lyrical confrontation with virulent Latin rhythms, celebratory melodic revelry, and schizophrenic imagination. You could call it death jazz or funk core to make up tags, we call it one of the most exhilarating encounters you will hear this year.

Mexico City based Acrania began in 2006, taking their time to unite and hone their blend of Latin Jazz and Metal before releasing their first encounter, the In Peaceful Chaos EP the following year. Three years later debut album Unbreakable Fury was unleashed, its well-received presence supported by the band playing a mini tour in Germany with the support of The Wacken Foundation. Its 2012 successor stirred up even more attention and acclaim, An Uncertain Collision named Best Album Of The Year in the Kalani Metal Awards. From there Acrania has extensively toured around Mexico and Europe sharing stages with bands such as Diablo Swing Orchestra, Death To All, Exodus, The Agonist, The Faceless, Legion Of The Damned, and Havok along the way. Now Fearless has all the qualities to thrust the quartet into the broadest keenest spotlight, and the presence to inspire listeners to salsa and bomba whilst head banging like a dervish.

Fearless explodes from its first breath through People of the Blaze, the opener a tidal wave of rigorous rhythms aligned to a hypnotic groove. Its air is instantly and furiously busy as a sonic aggression surrounds it all whilst percussion get rowdy and the vocals of rhythms guitarist Luis F. Oropeza growl and squall over the concussive web of sound. Predictability is as absent in the band’s sound and song as dullness, a quick step into a temptation of throaty bass and spicy jazz seducing from Alberto Morales G. and César A. Gallegos respectively, a trigger for hips and feet to heavily flirt with the floor. At the same time a trespass of bruising rhythms and metal bred antagonism becomes the spark to testing neck muscles. It is a fascinating and bewitching incitement which never settles in one form or moment for more than a clutch of body moves before twisting in on itself all over again for a breath-taking maelstrom of addictive flavours and incendiary intent.

Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The excellent start continues through Poverty Is in the Soul, the beats of drummer J.C. Chavez S. a swift protagonist rifling through ears and stirring up an eager appetite. Its lively start slips into a reflective few seconds before challenging and inviting the listener through a slim but intimidating lead into the relentless fierce shuffle of its body. The sturdiest rhythms throw themselves around like a mosh pit whilst the more traditional percussive tempting just lights ears with exotic persuasion. The scythes of melodic and sonic enterprise from lead guitarist Gallegos equally spark the imagination, especially when they evolve into acidic strands of incitement alongside the same musician’s sax exploits.

Undoubtedly Fearless is a proposition needing numerous plays to explore all of its involved and finely entwined textures and corners, but equally it is an immediately impacting adventure sparking ears and energies as proven again by I Was Never Dead. The track is a bracing and hostile fury, though as much as it is fearsome it is irresistibly tempting as rhythms and sax stir up a hornets nest of lustful responses reinforced by another lively bass line and the spiralling invention of the guitars. The great rabid tones of Oropeza are the least adventurous aspect, his delivery pretty much the same raw assault on every track and for personal tastes and to be fussy lack the desired diversity to match the sounds, though to be honest it has no negative impact on songs at all. The malicious jazz of the song makes way for the funkier caustic escapade of Blinded by Power, it as expected a constant evolution slipping through ravenously aggressive, sublimely beauteous, and melodically charming climes in creating its progressive tango. It is a glorious adventure, a roller coaster of turbulence and melodic radiance before the punkish festivity of Overflow rouses ears and appetite into another seriously wanton greed, after which a respite for the body comes through the brief and evocative instrumental En el Puerto. Its quaint and nostalgic air slips into Hypocritical Conflict, an instant thick embrace of discord and raw intensity which brews and grows into a hellacious swamp of sound and agitation, though in turn that spins into a transfixing blaze of jagged jangly riffs and bass bait. Everything gets fiery and intense again before…well the changes and turns are numerous and a treat for all to find out in another major pinnacle of the album.

Man’s Search for Meaning starts with a hypnotic cacophony of percussive beats and a roaming dark bass line aligned to the potent narrative and tones of Oropeza. From there the song’s every second heads towards another seamlessly aligned and mixed collective of sounds, styles, and ingenuous ideation. As the album, the track is ripe with Latin tradition and flavours bound in a death metal breeding and malevolence, though it has to be said at no time within Fearless is there ever a moment when the suffering and oppression lyrically portrayed is matched by a similarly destructive musical assault.

Fearless is completed by Point of Collision, a final riveting tapestry of deranged imagination and experimentation which just grips ears and pleasure like a mix of System Of A Down meets Cynic meets Pryapisme. It is a final treat to an outstanding release, a triumph for those prepared to be challenged, at times bewildered, and ultimately thrilled. Acrania should definitely be a recognised world-wide presence after this.

The self-released Fearless is out now @ https://acraniaofficial.bandcamp.com/album/fearless

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RingMaster 19/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Abiotic – Casuistry

byVinceEdwards

byVinceEdwards

As much as it is swiftly fascinating, Casuistry from US progressive death metallers Abiotic is a challenging proposition, testing in its ferociously busy landscape with a technical prowess to match, and at times approaching overwhelming ears with that same creative tirade so ears and imagination cannot settle and appreciate what is going in the moment. For all its formidable elements though, the second album from the Miami quintet is one striking and compelling proposal which just gets more impressive and enjoyable with every listen.

Emerging in 2010, Abiotic quickly made their mark on ears with debut EP A Universal Plague the following year, a release laying down a template of ravenous riffs, blistering solos, and technical breakdowns. Grabbing the attention of Metal Blade Records, the band subsequently signed with the label and unleashed debut album Symbiosis in 2012, a proposition pushing sound and skills, as well as invention, on in leaps and bounds. In hindsight though it too was a mere step towards the immense adventure in sound and craft now flooding Casuistry. The band’s voracious live presence has similarly lured acclaim and glowing support across the years, shows with the likes of Dying Fetus and Exhumed reinforcing their growing stature. Last year saw Abiotic link up with producer Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, Wretched, and The Contortionist) as they set about creating their follow-up album, and a change in line-up which saw new vocalist Travis Bartosek and drummer Brent Phillips join the band, a change which has really added to the impact of the new album and the continuing evolution of Abiotic sound.

Abiotic-Casuistry     Casuistry has growth in every aspect from its striking predecessor, a new maturity and exploration fuelling songwriting to sound, lyrical endeavour to technical resourcefulness. This also applies to the rigorous challenge on the senses and psyche of the listener which will be too much for some, but the rewards as evidenced straight away in opener Believe the Unseen, border on intoxicating at times. From its first breath, the song offers a bestial roar on ears, the throat ripping bellow of Bartosek alone a fierce and gripping incitement matched by hellacious riffs and rhythms. It is a brief savagery though as mere seconds later spiralling melodic enterprise flows from the guitars of Johnathan Matos and Matt Mendez, entangling the predacious bassline of Alex Vazquez and the rugged beats of Phillips in their midst. Within thirty seconds the song is a creative tempest, an unpredictable maelstrom which allows thoughts a glimpse on getting a handle of things before stirring its body and threat up all over again. Thoughts of Trepalium hint away across the track but also as everything turns in on itself and dives into new ideation, the likes of The Faceless and The Contortionist spring up.

It is a stunning start, a disorientating one occasionally even in the briefness of the song, but as mentioned earlier and applying to the whole album, with each listen becomes more coherent in thoughts and thrilling in ears. The same of course applies to the following Reanimated Destruction, which makes a much more merciful entrance, the guitars casting an atmospheric sonic mist as the bass flirts with jazz seeds for its instantly intriguing and exotic tempting. The two almost duelling vocal deliveries work a treat again; guttural and serpentine tones twin insidiousness within the technical and intensity driven raging.

One of the things which definitely add to the songs is the snappiness of their length, no track passing the five minute mark and most falling a lot shorter. This certainly intensifies the bustling character of the tracks inventively and physically, Abiotic wasting no second on repetitive thoughts but it also ensures the testing tracks never come close to be laborious propositions. Cast into the Depths epitomises this next; the song a melodic wine of a sound dripping over ears and soon spreading a weave of sonic imagination as rhythmic hostility intimidates the senses. Phillips is as brutal as he is contagious with his swings and beats whilst the song itself is a cauldron of fiercely bubbling and changing sonic and vocal enmity. Featuring John Gallagher of Dying Fetus, the encounter is a blissfully exhausting endeavour, a description fitting Casuistry perfectly also.

Violent Scriptures is a torrential onslaught of malevolence and craft again, Phillips a beast and Matos with Mendez, mesmeric with their melodies and sonic espionage on the psyche. Vocally too the band has hit another level with Bartosek which has spread to the rest of the album’s throat offered exploits, an aspect ravaging the listener mercilessly in Nightmares of Your Conception next. Grooves once more simply ooze from the sonic animus being uncaged, whilst rhythmically the track is the most vicious yet. The song does not quite match up to its predecessor though, that industrious tsunami proving almost too taxing if still enjoyable at times.

Through the ‘funky’ but rabid The Absence of Purity, which features guest Paul Waggoner of Between the Buried and Me, and Falling into Obscurity, band and album seduce with full steam again. The first is especially virulent with its toxic grooves and sparkling melodic flirtation, swiftly becoming a big favourite whilst its successor arrives drenched in a menacing theatre, noir bred hues colouring its opening torrent of riffs and grooves, proceeding to add rich hues throughout the wiry entanglement of sound and skills. Both tracks leave the imagination and ears ringing and enslaved before Molecular Rematerialization nags and worries their defences with its own flurry of concussive rhythms and citric grooves, all bred in the darkest most venomous corners of the band’s invention.

Casuistry is brought to a close by the transfixing and punishing Drain. Deface. Abolish., a final tempest to be seduced and violated by in equal measure. It is a fine end to a great album which only gets stronger and more enthralling with time. Abiotic make you work to explore and unravel their deeply entrenched and wonderfully turbulent imagination, but make the effort, brave their unrelenting creative hunger, and you might just find one of your favourite albums of the year.

Casuistry is out now on Metal Blade Records via http://metalblade.com/abiotic/

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RingMaster 23/04/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

Photos by Vince Edwards

 

The Voynich Code – Ignotum

The Voynich Code - Promo 2015

If there is such a thing as controlled bedlam then Ignotum from The Voynich Code is a thrilling example. It is a maelstrom of sounds and ideas delivered with an energy and imagination which swiftly has ears, thoughts, and passions recruited to the cause. The six-track release is the debut album from the Portuguese metallers who just formed last year, an immediate attention seeking and grabbing introduction to the talent of the exciting young Lisbon hailing quintet. There is a certain familiarity to the release it is fair to say, one bringing thoughts of other exponents of the fascinating sounds the band conjures, but more so an even greater freshness and potential suggesting the band will be and is forging their own imposing identity with their fusion of deathcore and technical/progressive metal with a healthy dose of grind and groove tenacity. It is a gem of a debut and one truly mouth-watering entrance by The Voynich Code.

It took band and album mere seconds to have these ears and imagination hooked as opener Antithesis, to a brewing haunting ambience, adds almost oriental like pokes of melodic discord. It is an immediately intriguing lure to which guitars add their similarly tempting touches before it all explodes in one intensive examination of the senses. Rich dark hearted vocal roars from Nelson Rebelo soon stamp their imposing authority on the now tempestuous body of the track, though that initial melodic bait is still using its seduction to fine effect. The guitars of Vinnie Mallet and André Afonso weave a magnetic net of carnivorous riffs and sonic imagination, gnawing and romancing ears over a tantalising percussive dance from drummer Nuno Cordeiro, a revelry and enterprise matching the provocative expression of keys and melodies. Twists clasp the storm of sound and inescapable malevolence grows in the vocal squalls, but it is the fluid and masterful mix of flavours and thick essences of varied genres which truly ignite thoughts and emotions, and a rather tasty bestial throat to the bass of Miguel Pires.

The following Amunet, The Decider instantly thrusts its creative jaws on the by now raw senses. An initial tide of covetous riffs and barbarous rhythms are soon veined by a similar melodic The Voynich Code - Ignotum - covercolouring to that which lit up its predecessor, as well as new variety to the vocal attack, guttural and swinish growls adding to the resourceful textures and fascination of the track. Maybe not quite as dramatically striking as the first but matching it in invention and riveting temptation, the track keeps the intensity boiling and greed for more growing, a hunger straight away fed by the outstanding voracity and mystique of The Others. Embracing an India bred melodic adventure within a groove infested swing of predacious incitement, the song flirts and savages with equal potency and simultaneous success. It is a transfixing and invigoratingly radiant abuse of a merger; imagine Veil of Maya, Mesuggah, The Faceless, and Scar Symmetry embroiled in a tempest spiced with some Korn and you get a feel of the third treat on Ignotum.

The industrial teased gentle provocative caress of instrumental MS408 allows a breath to be swallowed before Decoding of Life dishes out its own tapestry of viciously staggered riffs, rhythmic hostility, and a seriously contagious and enthralling technical swagger. This of course is all coated in vocal rancor and melodic enterprise. Those worldly spices of sound and imagination are never far from the landscape of any show, another Motherjane like seducing adding to the blistering turbulence.

Another tremendous peak and creative emprise within Ignotum makes way for yet one more, final track Acta Sancti bringing the album to an exhilarating close. Its respectful and eventful start is soon blustering with vocal rapacity and rhythmic rabidity, a ravaging matched by corrosive riffs and raw intensity. The opening smile of melodic charm will not go away though and immerses itself loudly in the caustic soundscape, sparking body and mind within every unpredictable step.

Ignotum is an exceptional introduction to The Voynich Code, an album which even as fingers tap out these words continues to seduce and impress further. Some parts will remind of more recognisable bands, artists the five-piece will soon be standing alongside in stature as they grow from this striking start it is easy to suspect and expect, but simply it is one of the most enjoyable and exciting extreme adventures to come along in recent times.

The self-released Ignotum is available from January 30th @ http://thevoynichcode.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thevoynichcode.com/

RingMaster 29/01/2015

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Verse Vica – Endeavor

Promo 2

It is safe to say that progressive metal has presented some of the most imaginatively inventive bands and compellingly immersive releases over recent years and to both lists you can add Verse Vica and their debut album Endeavor. One similarly imposing and seductive flight spread over eight movements in its continuous landscape, the release is a skilled and dramatic introduction to the US band, announcing them as an exciting prospect to pay eager attention to.

Hailing from North Carolina it is maybe no surprise that their inspirations include fellow statesmen Between the Buried and Me alongside the likes of Animals as Leaders, The Faceless, Periphery, and The Contortionist. There is no denying those essences across the Asheville quartet’s first offering though it is mere flavouring to something which primarily casts its own distinctive nature and character. Unafraid to bare its rawest depths sonically and emotionally, and a flaming beauty which is as transfixing as its contrasts are rugged, the album is an intensive and at times satisfyingly demanding proposition. Though first impressions leave a hungry appetite for its presence, the album needs an attentive investigation to reveal all its striking textures and superbly crafted layers. It rewards though with not a flawless offering but definitely one which ignites a greed for more in the imagination and emotions.

Mastered by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit), Endeavor opens with the engaging Airyth. It is a gentle and melodically elegant instrumental which carries darker shadows within its smouldering and resonating presence. It is not a dramatic track, certainly in hindsight against the subsequent twists in the album’s journey, but a captivating soar across the emerging climate of piece and release. Guitarists Paul Meisner and Greg Marcon create a sonic breeze which mesmerises with its beauty and skilful designs whilst the bass of Tyler Shehan incitingly strokes the darker element of the exploration. It is a tantalising entrance though it does straight away offer up the only real flaw with the album and that is the sampled drums and rhythms. The band is yet to find a live body to swing the sticks and this makes for one aspect which is lacking across the album, being more obvious in some tracks than others, but to be fair such the quality elsewhere it is never enough to derail songs and pleasure.

The opener flows straight into the rugged terrain of Cities I: Cerulean. Riffs and grooves respectively badger and entwine ears from the first breath whilst raging gut bred growls and subsequently clean harmonies from Spencer Album CoverBrunkhorst, bring further thick colour and spice to the already colourful design of the song. The technical ability of the band is just as striking and instant, the guitars spinning a web of infectious and intimidating enterprise whilst the rhythmic side of the song, along with the harsher side of the vocals, carries as much malevolence as the melodies and sonic endeavour brings flirtatious ingenuity. Equally the songwriting shines brightly, especially in the way the band blends and twists extremes around a fluid core of intent and imagination. It is a fine incitement though soon shaded by Verdugo and even more so the outstanding Ravenholm. The first of the two stands steely eyed with hooks and riffs a savage persuasion within a caustic and radiant melodic atmosphere. Again opposites attract within the song and combine for a tantalising and intimidating excursion for ears and thoughts which the second of the pair pushes to new scenic heights. Opening with a melodic death metal ferocity and invention, the track evolves before the ears as melodies provide a catalyst taking the voracious vocal driven emprise into a seductive waltz of Latin sultriness and acoustic Spanish guitar refinement. It is an enthralling and thrilling proposition which returns to its original caustic blaze before merging it into the sonic brilliance which binds the majestic encounter.

Marumari takes senses and thoughts through an engrossing soundscape of shimmering melodies and intrigue coated bass suasion, calming ears and emotions from the previous roars before diving headlong into flaming sonic and cavernous yet intimately suggestive beauty. The instrumental is a web to spark the imagination, in a way the eye of the storm between the previous adventure and the furious tempest of Djinn. It successor is a predator yet with the antagonistic vocals and rhythmic intensity striding through a sonic tapestry of inventive and skilled ideation, the track is just as infectiously compelling as it is barbarously challenging. Sharing best track honours with Ravenholm, it is a stunning slab of creative and unpredictable bewitching hostility with the bass of Shehan stealing the biggest plaudits.

The album is brought to a tremendous close by firstly another absorbing instrumental in the mentally inflaming shape of Koholint and lastly the tempestuous might and creative storm of Cities II: Saffron. Both songs show further sides and variation to album and the band’s inventiveness, the first simply with melodic eloquence and adventure and the second through the employment of melodic and pop rock infectiousness within the technically spellbinding lure of the track.

Endeavour is a glorious debut and one which just gets better as it reveals more with every flight taken. Anticipation for a live drummer and where that takes songs and the sound of Verse Vica is a strong feeling at the end of the album but more overwhelming is the total pleasure and excitement for what Endeavour offers and where the band has the potential to go. Bottom line though is that this is a must investigation for all progressive metal fans.

The self-released Endeavor is available worldwide now on October 6th.

https://www.facebook.com/versevica

RingMaster 06/10/2014

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